The Best Ways to Transcribe Video to Text

Do you need to transcribe video to text? Not sure what the best way to go about doing it is?

Did you know that websites with transcripts yield 16% more revenue than those without?

Also, YouTube videos with captions can generate 7.32% more views than those without. If that isn’t enough to convince you, let us enlighten you with another fact: organic traffic directed towards transcripts has grown by 6.68%.

All these numbers are essentially a result of the growing inclination towards using automatic transcription software and transcription services to transcribe video to text.

Due to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of entrepreneurs, content creators, and teachers switched their work mode to online which also contributed to the high usage of transcription software for turning video files into text. 

If you need to transcribe video to text, you have a lot of options, but not all of them are created equal. With that in mind, we’ve put together an in-depth guide that will explain all of the different ways you can transcribe a video file into a text document.


Different Ways To Transcribe Video To Text 

At first, you might think that the process of transcription is analogous to that of audio recording.

But here’s the twist: when one or two people are conversing simultaneously, transcribing video becomes pretty challenging.

Fortunately, there have been advancements in multimedia that have accelerated such tasks; we have discussed below some of the ways to transcribe a video into text. The onus is on you to choose the one that completes the work efficiently and accurately!


1. Using a video to text converter

There is a plethora of video transcription software, like,  with different functionalities along with free and paid options that will let you quickly and easily transcribe audio and video files.

Undoubtedly, if you want to convert video of high volume, using software to automatically transcribe video into text is the go-to option.

All you need to do is understand how to use the interface of the software and process output as per requirements.

If you have budget constraints, you can opt for free transcription software that may not provide the same level of quality, but will definitely improve your productivity.

However, it is ideal to pay and use software to save yourself from the hassle of editing the output all over again.

Simply put, using software to automatically transcribe video is the absolute fastest and most efficient way to get the job done.


2. Human transcription service

If you’ve got enough time on your hands, then hiring a professional transcriber is a great option. 

Transcribing a piece manually is surely time-consuming but the good part is that experts often include the nuanced linguistic meanings that are often ignored by artificial intelligence.

Secondly, using a human transcription service allows for the proper interpretation of emotions. The aspect of emotional appeal and logic is well-integrated by human transcribers than software.

Before hiring an expert, it is best to test at first through a small sample of audio or video files for transcription. This will ensure that the amount you are paying justifies the quality of work.


3. Professional transcription post-editing with a software

So, this method is similar to hitting two stones with one bird!

It is great for academic or commercial use comprising large data and demanding utmost accuracy.

First, you use transcription software to transcribe video to text, then hire a professional transcriber to correct errors. Errors such as punctuation, grammar, and spelling are likely to occur as a result of using the software and it is only sensible to correct them manually.

Even though this way is costly and time-consuming, it does not demand 100% human intervention and churns out the most accurate results. 


4. DIY video transcription

If you’re working with a tight budget and you have the time and patience, you can transcribe on your own.

Transcribing manually will be easy on the pocket as there is absolutely no investment required, but it can be a taxing task.

All you need to do is put in the time and effort to transcribe your video to text manually.

Here are three simple steps you can follow for DIY text transcription:

  • Get familiar with the transcription basics — First off, understand the crux of transcribing videos. You can opt for a short online course to learn how to present a transcript, how to set the layout, how to annotate the video to refine the parts that are blurred or where there is background noise, how to timestamp, etc.
  • Prepare your transcribing tools — Once you get the hang of the basics, the next step is to set up your workflow in such a way that it is easy to navigate, play and pause the video. We usually do this by switching between windows every few seconds, using keyboard shortcuts, etc. if your videos are not very long, using the play and pause option seems reasonable. However, if you have lengthy videos, it is best to use a foot pedal to reduce interruptions. Foot pedals improve your overall workflow and eliminate all unnecessary distractions caused by constantly going back and forth. Apart from that, you will also need a video player and word-processing software.
  • Set up your text expander — This feature will definitely blow your mind! Imagine transcribing process becoming so smooth and easy by only inserting abbreviations of a word. For instance, you can pre=set your text expander to give the output ‘happy birthday’ when you time ‘hb’. These are called snippets. The sole purpose of a text expander is to enable the transcriber to create various snippets of long, difficult words. Also, you can create snippers of the name of different speakers or other repetitive words or phrases in the video. You’ll notice how this will significantly improve your speed and accuracy. 


Why Should You Use Automatic Transcription? 

Transcription software can be used for a wide array of applications, including:


While podcasts are already quite enjoyable to listen to/watch, it is still a profitable idea to add your transcripts to a website or a blog. In this way, you will be able to target a larger audience as many people might get to your podcast transcript through a search engine. Video transcripts substantially jump your video’s SEO across other search engines and give better rankings. 

Social media marketing

Did you know that approximately 85% of Facebook video content is watched without sound? This means, if your video doesn’t have captions or subtitles, it may not captivate the audience and will not yield any views. This is probably because of surroundings or timings. Hence, a transcript makes it more convenient to consume content and share it with others without any language barriers.  


Just like journalists and documentary creators believe, you are not certain what will happen once you turn on the camera. This means a lot of irrelevant conversations and background noise may undermine the purpose of the video. In such a case, transcription comes in very handy and removes all gaps. Journalists are more inclined towards transcripts due to authenticity especially when you are presenting any factual content that viewers may want to use as a reference. 

Product placements

Advertising agencies appreciate it if the brand name is mentioned somewhere. In such as case, you can attract advertisers by adding transcripts to your official website so that searching for the mentions becomes easier.


Transcripts serve as an alternative way to read/enjoy the content for users of passive technology. Moreover, people who have hearing disabilities can read the video text in their native language. Another reason is the fact that about 70% of the students prefer transcripts for studying. It helps them with comprehension and can go back to the transcript for revision. 

Massive global outreach

While creating a video, you are limited to a particular language. This means other people around the world may not be able to consume your content even if they find it interesting. Modern transcription software removes this obstacle and paves the way for reaching a global audience. Once the video is converted into text, viewers can translate it into their own language in a jiffy! 


How To Choose A Video To Text Converter

When it comes to choosing software for transcribing video to text, there are many things you need to look for, including:

1. Smooth automated transcription 

The sole purpose of using transcription software is to reduce human intervention and convert it into text in less time than doing manually. So, when choosing a video-to-text file converter online, make sure it has a streamlined interface and can automatically transcribe in minimum time.

2. Record and transcribe live

This is a rare feature that not many transcription software possess. It is pretty useful, especially in academic and corporate settings where large meetings/lectures need to be converted in real time.

3. Customized vocabulary

If your content includes any jargon or other technical words that are necessary to understand the context, adding custom vocabulary will help you. This feature assists you to add all difficult words you want the converter to catch. In this way, the next time those words come up, the software will recognize and organize them accordingly. 

4. Import pre-recorded videos

Watch out for this feature, especially if the software can record and transcribe live. Be vigilant so that you have the original text to refer back to along with the transcribed version.

5. Two-factor authentication

Transcribing any confidential information is secured when the software has two-factor authentication. Once you turn it on, all your sensitive data will be safeguarded and will not be accessible to intruders who perform phishing or pharming.

6. Speaker identification

Whether it’s classroom interactions, panel discussions, or other conferences where there are multiple speakers, it gets challenging to transcribe what each one said. Speaker identification can detect by name and help you comprehend the text easily.

If you have been conducting or participating in meetings, you understand the pain of taking notes about every detail.

It is just like creating minutes of meetings but the amount of effort and concentration required is immense.

And even if one does it painstakingly, the result is not so accurate and favorable. It becomes pretty difficult for any external viewer to comprehend.

Therefore, to improve productivity and outreach in a video meeting, the ultimate way is to use automated transcription software.

In case you wondering where will you get all the aforementioned features in one software, let us share our favorite. : Our Pick for the Best Transcription Software is our favorite software for accurate transcription of video to text! It is one of the most streamlined and highly recommended real-time tools for automatic transcription.

Otter’s top-notch AI technology is built to capture all your video content, whether it’s live or pre-recorded, and transcribe it quickly and accurately.

While there’s a desktop app, it also has iOS and Android app which means you can auto transcribe files with your smart devices and export them.

Here are some of the things we love about

1. Real-time notes

The Otter Live Notes feature takes real-time notes so users can annotate collaboratively. You no longer need to divert your attention from the meeting discussion and jot down notes in a hurry. Now, you can highlight all key points, decisions, etc in one click. Live Notes can be shared with all other participants so others can comment, highlight or add images, etc. 

2. Find information quickly

Imagine finding ‘what XYZ person said in a meeting on Monday’. It is nearly impossible to search each meeting and find intricate information. But with Otter’s Advanced Search tool, all you need to do is insert the relevant keywords, phrases, names speakers, photos, or folders to query the required data.

3. Various ways for exporting and sharing

Otter is quite flexible when it comes to different file formats. So whether it’s PDF, TXT, MS Word, or SRT, Otter allows you to export and share easily. 

4. Import and record anything you want!

As we know, Otter is a one-stop app specializing in recording and transcribing meetings and other types of video content. To amplify convenience, allows users to import video files either from their laptop or smartphone. The following is a list of acceptable video formats:

  • AVI
  • MPEG
  • MP4
  • WMV

5. AI-generated summary feature

This nee “Automatic Outline” feature uses AI technology to automatically derive a meeting summary. The aim of this is to give users a clear understanding of the whole conversation without having to listen to the whole recording or read the transcript. 

6. Meetings Gems

This feature aims to capture all vital aspects of a meeting such as key decision points. The Meeting Gems panel can be used to add items or comments or even ask questions. You can generate a Meeting Gem by highlighting snippets in the notes. pricing includes both free plans and very affordable paid plans, so there are options to fit every budget.

Click here to check out free today.


How To Transcribe Video To Text Free Online With Otter.Ai

1. Create a free account with

There are various payment plans to choose from but if you are a first-time user you can opt for the free plan. 

2. Locate and upload the files

  • To upload, first, click the import button on the top right of the screen. 
  • Next, click on the browse file button at the bottom left of the page and select the video
  • Once uploaded, the software will now automatically do the job and you click on the ‘status’ button to monitor the progress.

3. When the transcription process is complete, the output will be visible on the conversations page and Otter will also email it to you.


A Final Word on Converting Video to Text

If you need to convert video to text, you have a lot of options. From using transcription voice recognition software convert text automatically to hiring someone to doing it yourself, there are lots of choices.

It all comes down to figuring out what you can afford, how much time you have, and what level of accuracy you expect.

If you want the best possible results and would like a transcription that is accurate and easy to read, we recommend using This software offers real-time collaboration features, real-time transcription of online meetings, and multiple file format exporting options.

Click here to check out free today.

Have any questions about how to transcribe video to text? Leave a comment below and we’ll help you out.

Fatima Mansoor

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